Anyone who knows me well knows I have the weirdest fascination with 14th-16th century monarchs. I simply cannot explain why I’m obsessed with it, it just happened. One day I began looking more into Henry VIII and his 6 wives and down the rabbit hole I went into fully developed personal research into bloodlines, familial relations, scandals, deaths and more. To give some background Elizabethan London was just after the Tudor era lasting during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I from 1558 to 1603. Queen Elizabeth I is well known for being one of the best monarchs of the time following her father Henry VIII, her brother Edward VI’s short lived reign and her sister Mary I also known as Bloody Mary. That’s a little bit of background for the era if you’re interested there are many novels, historically accurate and fictional, that depict the lives of all the members of this period most especially Elizabeth’s parents Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, the first queen to be beheaded in England.
As you can tell I clearly was not lying about my weird obsession with this era and the people who inhabited it. I have almost no words for how well this book captured the time period. Harkness is actually a scholar and is well noted as such. She has a PhD. from UC Davis and spent time at Oxford. When she speaks about the School of Night, she does so with great attention to detail and accuracy of the individuals for the time period. The immersion she gave Diana and Matthew amongst real life legends was incredible. The attention to detail was truly what made this novel so spectacular.
My one bone to pick is the way that Matthew was written. It’s quite interesting how he treats Diana and it partly seemed out of character from what I imagine he would have done. The concept that he easily slipped back into the person that he was when he was living in this era is one to contend with, however still feels a little hard to swallow. I think this may be more of a personal gripe because I hate when characters that I ship have issues, but I agree it was essential to the storyline in order to truly grow their relationship. This is especially important being that the entirety of the first novel had their relationship growing sans issues. Minus the whole interspecies mingling and the Congregation debacle. Just little things.
Overall, I absolutely love this book and liked it even more than the first one. The second season of the television installments comes out in January of 2021 at least on the BBC. I’m not sure they have a release date in the Americas quite yet. They also have begun shooting the third season post lockdowns and I’m thrilled given that we haven’t had any new content since September of 2018 in regards to the TV show. I will absolutely be watching it immediately once I am able to.
“Memories were short and history unkind. It was the way of the world.”
Each book here at Cheers&Chapters is rated based off of certain categories that are genre specific, however every book will get a Cheers Factor. The Cheers Factor is how much we wanted to raise our glass while reading it. So get your glasses ready and cheers!